UNLICENSED GUNS. Mayor Rafael Rizalda of Maigo, Lanao del Norte leads the turnover of loose firearms to the military Tuesday (June 25, 2019). (Photo courtesy of Army's 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)
Residents of the Lanao del Norte town of Maigo surrendered a total of 28 loose firearms with hundreds of ammunition, military officials said Wednesday.
Capt. Clint Antipala, Army’s 1st Infantry Division acting information officer, said the firearms were surrendered to the Army's 5th Mechanized Battalion in a ceremony held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Mindanao State University in Maigo, Lanao del Norte.
Antipala said the surrendered firearms consisted of an AK-47 rifle, one Bushmaster, one .30-caliber M1 Garand rifle, two .30-caliber carbine rifles, one M4 rifle, one M16 A1 “Baby Armalite” rifle, two .22-caliber rifles; three 40 millimeter-grenade launchers; nine 12-gauge shotguns and seven handguns.
Outgoing Mayor Rafael Rizalda of Maigo, who facilitated the surrender of the firearms, thanked the Army for their efforts in sustaining peace and development in the municipality during his stint as the town executive.
Brig. Gen. Ezra James Enriquez, Army’s 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade commander, who has operational jurisdiction over Lanao del Norte, said the campaign against the proliferation of loose firearms aims to ensure that “the people would feel more secure and safe in their daily activities.”
Enriquez urged the people to cooperate and report to proper authorities the proliferation of firearms in their communities.
Lt. Col. Rolando Orengo, commander of the 55th Mechanized Battalion, said the concerted effort and intensified collaboration among the troops, local communities, local chief executives and other stakeholders resulted to the surrender of the loose firearms in Maigo town.
Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the Army’s 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao provinces) commander, lauded the troops, the local government unit and stakeholders of Maigo, Lanao del Norte.
"I urge everyone to continue our efforts in pursuing lasting peace not just for Mindanao but for the whole country. Let us conquer the challenges ahead of us and step up the momentum in sustaining our gains for our common aspiration,” Ancan said.